Barnett Bank of Marion Cty., N. A. v. Nelson, 517 U.S. 25, 17 (1996)

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Cite as: 517 U. S. 25 (1996)

Opinion of the Court

likelihood, consciously intended to exert upon the insurance industry whatever pre-emptive force accompanied its law. See also, e. g., insofar as relevant, 91 Cong. Rec. 483 (1945) (statement of Sen. O'Mahoney, floor manager of the Act, that the Act was intended to be "a sort of catch-all provision to take into consideration other acts of Congress which might affect the insurance industry, but of which we did not have knowledge at the time"); ibid. (similar statement of Sen. Ferguson).

The language of the Federal Statute before us is not general. It refers specifically to insurance. Its state regulatory implications are not surprising, nor do we believe them inadvertent. See Part II, supra. Consequently, considerations of purpose, as well as of language, indicate that the Federal Statute falls within the scope of the McCarran-Ferguson Act's "specifically relates" exception to its anti-pre-emption rule. Cf. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Harris Trust and Sav. Bank, 510 U. S. 86, 98 (1993) (adopting the United States' view that language in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 defining a "guaranteed benefit policy" as a certain kind of "insurance" policy "obviously and specifically relates to the business of insurance") (internal quotation marks omitted).

We shall mention briefly why we are not convinced by several of the parties' remaining arguments. Florida says that the Federal Statute "specifically relates" to banking, not to insurance. But a statute may specifically relate to more than one thing. Just as an ordinance forbidding dogs in city parks specifically relates to dogs and to parks, so a statute permitting banks to sell insurance can specifically relate to banks and to insurance. Neither the McCarran-Ferguson Act's language, nor its purpose, requires the Federal Statute to relate predominantly to insurance. To the contrary, specific detailed references to the insurance industry in proposed legislation normally will achieve the McCarran-Ferguson Act's objectives, for they will call the proposed leg-


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